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Craig Lingard reacts to Castleford Tigers’ first Super League win

Castleford Tigers' Craig Lingard celebrates his side's victory over Salford Red Devils

Craig Lingard has praised the resilience of his side as Castleford Tigers twice came from eight points down to land their first win of the Super League season against Salford Red Devils.

It was a rollercoaster game that saw multiple lead changes but it will be best remembered for Innes Senior’s four-try haul with the ex-Huddersfield man shining as he made 191 metres on the night.

The final score read 36-24 but it wasn’t all that easy for the Tigers which is something Craig Lingard pointed to when speaking post-match about the pride he held in the performance.

Lingard spoke to BBC Radio Leeds stating: “I thought it was a performance built on resilience and dealing with a little bit of adversity. We lost Paul McShane in the warm-up, right at the end of the warm-up. He’s tweaked his hamstring again. We don’t know how serious it is, hopefully, it’s not as bad as it was last time.

“That meant that Cain Robb came onto the bench and ultimately that turned out to be a good thing because Cain played really well when he came on in the second half.”

It wasn’t just co-captain McShane that Castleford Tigers were without as another veteran missed almost an hour of the match after failing a Head Injury Assessment.

“We also lost Liam Watts to an HIA after 20 minutes and he didn’t come back out,” Lingard noted.

“We lost Joe Westerman 15 minutes off the end with a bit of a calf injury and then we lost Josh Simm on that right wing as well.

“We had to shuffle back row into centre and centre onto wing and that might have come back on us. So there were a lot of things that went against us which we’ve not dealt with adversity and things that went against us in the past. I thought how they dealt with that today were really, really good.”

Castleford Tigers still with room to improve

Castleford Tigers

Credit: Imago Images

Despite the pride of earning his first win as a Super League head coach, Castleford Tigers’ boss Craig Lingard was still reserved in his comments as he outlined the key disappointment that he had with the win.

“There are still areas for improvement,” Lingard said.

“At half-time we’re going okay. We’re saying all the right things in the changing rooms, the players are prepped to come back out and then we conceded two tries in the first ten minutes of our second half.

“We need to be better after a break. It’s becoming too much of a regular thing where we’re coming out at the start of the second half and not starting how we played in parts of that first half. So we need to get better at that.”

That had happened in their most recent loss against Leeds Rhinos with the Tigers heading into the sheds at 0-0 despite dominating the first forty and then collapsing in the second period.

They’ll face an even tougher test next week when they face Wigan Warriors in the Challenge Cup before facing the champions once again the week after in Super League, but for now it’s time to celebrate for Lingard and the Tigers’ fans.

On what he’d learned about his side, Lingard added: “If we do get a bit of adversity, it’s not game over. We can come back and that’s what we did today and that was the most pleasing thing. Two times we went eight points down in the first half and then down in the second half as well and we still came back.

He concluded:  “There were a lot of things that went against us and a lot of times we could have crumbled but they showed a lot of steel today and that was the most pleasing thing for me.”

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